Strong characters and distinctive dialogue – Coping Ugly
Last Tuesday, I bit the bullet and handed the first 10 pages of Coping Ugly over to my writing group in Cardiff Bay, Tuesday Night Writes.
Now, at no point in this long drawn out process has a single draft of Coping Ugly solved the problems I inevitably identify WHILE writing a draft. So as you can imagine, I was extremely nervous to hear my work read by new and credited writers. Everyone was wonderfully constructive and what could have been a soul crushing evening resulted in renewed motivation.
I learnt a lot that night. For example, that my instincts for the story are accurate and driving in the right direction, my characters are strong enough and real enough to jump off the page. My biggest fears were averted and finally, I actually believed that my dialogue was distinctive. The best part of the night, however, was when the professional playwrights with multiple credits advised me to essentially ignore all advice I’ve had to this point, trust my instincts and return the majority of alterations I’ve made in the last 5 months to my original plan. That was an interesting development that was both frustrating and insightful.
All in all, it was a great read that has left me with multiple points to process and incorporate into the next draft of Coping Ugly. With almost 3 weeks left to the deadline, I am aiming to get a new draft of Coping Ugly out by the end of next week before I start the redrafting process all over again.
One thing majorly stuck out from the read, one of the playwright’s said that she’s been working on her play for 2 years and is at something like 15 drafts. 3, even 5, drafts seem pretty pitiful in comparison. But, for once, I’m buzzing with positivity.